Last night I was invited over a friends house for dinner so I didn't have to cook for a change!
The wife's away so now I only cook for myself.
One of the hassles is that she expects some variety of food. I would be happy eating Chicken in some form most of the time. So the refrigerator was empty, the cupboards are bare, time to go shopping.
In the wine country we have lots of sort of trendy boutique stores. There is a lack of Whole Foods sores in the area, none in the town where we are staying. There are normal chains are here, Safeway, Lucky's Albertsons, (Kroger, A&P, Pubix Winn-Dixie, for you Easterners)........ you get the picture.
So, I get ready to go shop for stuff to make some dinner and breakfast for the next few days.
Where do I go?
Where else but Los Mares Market, or perhaps El Lobo.
Take a guess..... they are not chain stores, neither are they the typical gringo market.
They happen to El Mercado típicos.
First of all, you can get out of there for about half of what you would spend at the local Safeway.
Vegetables, fruits are cheaper and most of the time of better quality and flavor.
Besides, the meat at Safeway is cut way to thick for my tastes nowadays.
All the cuts of beef that we see in Patzcuaro are all there.
La Seniora must have her conchas , so I usually will buy a small sack of an assortment of sweet bread. I myself like the Orejas, or the Pan con canela.
The main difference is the price. In our local stores in Patzcuaro each piece of bread is about 5 pesos. A dozen or so pieces will average about 60 pesos. Which would be about $4.75.
Guess what, up here in Fantasyland, each piece costs at least 75 cents.
I cannot hold back myself but to comment to the clerk of the disparity between the pricing.
A smile and confirmation is usually the norm, once or twice if the owner serves me, I start getting a education on the cost of doing business up here.
Insurance, Licenses, Permits, Taxes, Employee benefits, building assessments and sewer tax, water and electricity, rising prices of flower,eggs and sugar......
Hey, Sorry I was trying to make a joke here, amigo.
So today, I picked up a whole chicken, with feet, which you never see at Safeway, (for some reason gringos shutter at the sight of chicken feet) half dozen bananas, 2 plantains, two potatoes, a large package of white corn tortillas, one large chili pepper, one avocado and two large baskets of strawberries for a total of 15.65
Still cheaper but more expensive than in Mexico. At the market in Patzcuaro that would have been about 9 dollars.
My theory is that a large percentage of costs up here is because of stabilizers, additives, preservatives , I call it SAP.
So, tonight I'll have some chicken on the grill, tomorrow the rest of the chicken meat will be in chicken tacos, the next day I'll make chicken soup, and the last day chilaquiles.
I love Chilaquiles............
Long ago, before Mexico eating and shopping habits, that scenario would never have worked. I would have walked out of the store with many more things that were; bad for you, packaged in quantities way to large for a family of two, loaded with preservatives and crap.
Americans have a false sense of what's healthy. They will buy something and after opening up the package, put it in the fridge.
It will last there for a month or two sometimes.
I remember finding stuff pushed back in the bowels of the fridge from years past.
Now, I only buy what we can consume in a few days. The positive side is that we eat better stuff, that goes bad in 4 days or so, forcing us to have to shop almost every day.
Now I look at that as a positive, I'm sure Soccer Mom Lindsey, looks at that as in terrible inconvenience.
Besides there is a better range of colors in a Mexican Market.
At this age, I need all the color I can get, to remind me that I can still see. Even if I can't focus real good.
I think the US would be better off to shop like Mexicans do..... but that's just my opinion.